Spatial and Temporal Variability in Enterococcus at an Urban Superfund Site After Sewage Infrastructure Upgrades

Authors: Nirmela Govinda*, LaGuardia Community College, The City University of New York, Aldrin Ador, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York, Estrella Cazares, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York, Willis Elkins, Newtown Creek Alliance, Kelvin Gonzalez, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York, Tonya Roe, Queens College, The City University of New York, Zazoe van Lieshout, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York, Holly Porter-Morgan*, The City University of New York
Topics: Coastal and Marine, Environmental Science, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: CSO, Superfund, water quality, Enterococcus, New York
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 4:30 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Newtown Creek, NY is one of the most polluted water bodies in the United States and was designated as a Superfund site in 2010. A long history of industrial pollution has left the creek’s sediments packed with contaminants and the remnants of the Greenpoint Oil Spill. In addition, Newtown Creek continues to be impacted by 20 combined sewer overflow pipes, which deliver more than 2 billion gallons of wastewater, street runoff, and sewage annually to the waterway. To address this problem, The New York City Department of Environmental Protection upgraded the four sewage outfalls that contribute the highest proportion of discharges to the receiving waterbody. Completed in November 2017, the upgrades are expected to reduce overflow to the creek by approximately 20%. The goal of our multi-year research program is to characterize the impact of these outfall upgrades by monitoring water quality at key locations across Newtown Creek. Weekly water samples are collected from April-October annually and a variety of parameters measured included: Enterococcus (a fecal indicator bacteria), dissolved oxygen, salinity, and temperature. A comparison of baseline data (pre-upgrades) with data from the first season post-upgrade completion will be presented. Results of this project will be useful in determining best management practices for the waterway.

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